Marital and Couples Counseling with Dr. Kovner is based on 30 years of research on what happily married couples do right. Couples come to therapy in the “attack-defend” mode and cannot manage their negativity. They fight over differences that may have once attracted them to each other. We find that opposites do attract. It is likely that nature has the plan of diversifying the gene pool in order to increase survival of the human race as a species. However, once children are born, nature is no longer drawing the couple together. Now, their very traits that once attracted them, tend to repel them. Their differences spark conflict when they try to solve problems together. Their very nature may cause stress. This is when the negativity between them is extreme. The negativity comes out in the form of criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt (The Four Horsemen).
Over time, distressed couples find that all of their interaction is stressful and unproductive. They argue over everything, the minors and the majors. They often don’t know why they are fighting or what provoked them. They just feel negative.
Learning to manage that negativity is the first stage of therapy. Couples learn how to make repairs, collaborate and listen, then melt away their defensiveness. Once they have learned to manage negativity, they can start back on the track of building back their friendship and intimacy.
The process of marital therapy usually takes 18 months. The process is most effective when couples spend their time between sessions doing homework assignments and exercises. It is not uncommon for couples to become disrupted by busy schedules, baby sitting arrangements and work. As a result, their progress may become slow. A solution is to attend a marital education class. Dr. Kovner offers marital education classes one Saturday every month. The program, entitled, Marital University is a one day class for up to three couples and is held at Dr. Kovner’s office in Peachtree Corners. Read More
When couples are immersed in conflict and cannot stop arguing, they would benefit from a more intensive therapy that involves spending the weekend in treatment. In the Intensive Couples Therapy Weekend Retreat couples move through treatment at an accelerated pace in which they learn the neuroscience of emotional conflict, how to control conflict and manage negativity, identify their own psycho-dynamics that contribute to misunderstanding, and revisit their loving feelings for one another by practicing emotionally intelligent skills in communication. Read More
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